Southampton v. Arsenal: Stats Preview

Arsenal supporters are worried about a trip to the South Coast to face Southampton in St. Mary’s stadium for the early match on Sunday and for good reason: not only are Arsenal just 2-2-1 in the last five trips there but Southampton’s home stats combined with Arsenal’s away form mean that this could be a tricky tie for the Gunners.

Throwing out the historical results, because the teams are radically different from 2014, we take a look at this year’s underlying stats.

Offensively, Southampton at home take more shots (16-14) , score more goals (1.3 – 1.1), have better shots in closer areas (4 SiP to 3), than Arsenal do away this season.

However, Arsenal are more accurate (4.7 shots on goal to 3.5) and create more Big Chances (2 to 1.5) than the Saints. Big Chances are more important than “SiP”, which is shots in prime, because they are the clear cut chances that score about half of a team’s goals.

That said, both teams create about the exact same in terms of what we call “expected goals” with 1.7. The reason for this is that Southampton create a lot of chances in close to goal but they come off set plays or when the opponents have the box packed. Southampton are 4the in the League in headed shots with 2.5 per game and 7th in the League in shots from set plays with 3.5 per game.

Southampton TRY to get goals off set pieces but they have yet to score a set play goal (0 for 30) and have just 2 off headers in general. I suspect they will test Arsenal off corners and free kicks in this match – will their bad luck hold out?

For Arsenal’s part, they need to be efficient in this match. Southampton’s defense is stingy both in terms of goals allowed (1.1 per game) and in terms of the goals we expect them to concede (0.9 per game). This flows from the fact that they are excellent at stopping opponents playing against them.

How they do that? I can’t tell. They aren’t a top tackling team (12th), intercepting team (17th), or pass blocking team (9th), they don’t foul (11th), block shots (13th), or even clear the ball a lot (13th).

One clue to their home form might be down to teams faced: they haven’t played a top attacking team at home all season. Their only other top 6 side that they faced was Man U and Mourinho’s side scored a single goal off a single big chance on 9 total shots and absconded in the middle of the night with the points.

All things considered, my model gives this a 1-1 draw. FiveThirtyEight gives Arsenal a 54% chance of a win and just a 23% chance of a draw. So, I guess I’m bucking the big brains.

Qq

Sources: my personal database, FiveThirtyEight.com

58 comments

    1. 1-1 it is
      your prediction is perfect bro tim
      the model is invaluable only that one doesn’t know what the hell the coaching crew are doing to change tactics when it matter most

      well your perfect prediction gives me a momentary relief

  1. Nice prediction!What a frustrating match.The negatives overwhelm the positives for me today.

    -Koscielny is a shell of his former self and clearly needs a rest
    -Sanchez gives the decisive assist but was ineffective and thoroughly predictable all game
    -Bellerin’s tackling remains atrocious, and where has that top speed gone?
    -Ramsey was good but now he’s going to be out for a month because he has another overuse injury
    -Classic Jack Wilshere in this game, we lost control in the middle when he came on

    Overall this was a tired performance and we just barely got the draw. Southampton were quicker to everything and were much better organized. In truth, before the goal I would’ve said we were well beaten on the day. Yes, we had more shots and stuff but the better chances were at the other end today.

    1. We didn’t lose control because we brought on Jack. First we never particularly had control (we had a good spell of possession at the beginning of the half but were mostly stymied and they looked dangerous every time the broke or pushed up to press us. Second, bringing on Welbeck and Giroud and taking off Xhaka and Lacazette had a more destabilizing effect than bringing in Jack. The latter is clever in possession, the former two not so much. Given Ramsey was playing the second half as essentially an auxiliary forward, the right move was Wilshere or Iwobi on for Per (then Giroud for last 15 if we got desperate). It’s bout Jack’s fault he was given the thankless task of playing holding midfield on his own (obviously not his best position anyway) while Wenger did his “let me throw on a bunch of forwards and hope something happens” trick. I thought Wilshere did more right than wrong.

      1. Welbeck for Mertesacker was the first change, then curiously 5 minutes later it was Jack for Xhaka. I think a reasonable case could’ve been made to start Jack today in place of Ramsey but for me there was too much chaos with all those rapid fire changes and Jack only added to that: dribbling into people, staying too high up the pitch, trying too hard… not enough maturity. If it looked like he was doing it by himself at the end there it’s because Ramsey was hobbled and we had thrown on all the forwards. With 20/20 hindsight the squad could’ve used rotation today and I would’ve liked to see Coquelin, Welbeck and Iwobi start this game.

        1. Doc, agree that the rapid fire subs in mid-half did nothing for our stability, I just think Jack did ok when he came on, and the weirder thing was why Wenger chose to put Welbeck on when he did, or at all (especially given Giroud was always going to be called upon if the score stayed the same, and given Iwobi had a really good game last week). Sometimes AW just makes bizarre decisions.

          1. I couldn’t make sense of those substitutions happening at that clip. There is no way he can see enough of how the sub is impacting the game before making the next change 5 minutes later. And if the subs were pre-planned, why not make a couple of them together instead of introducing a new player every 5 minutes? Bizarre, as you say. It had an air of frustration or panic about it.

    2. Ramsey overuse? The First Team is playing one game a week because of Europa. Applies to what you said as Koscielny as well. Cant see how tiredness due to under-rotation is a factor.

      Theres something about Southampton in December. We got murdered there last year after Christmas, so this result represents an improvement 😀

      Sometimes we view these games with our gooner goggles, and then go all Alan Hansen, seeing only our bad play rather than the other guys’ good play. Southampton played well, within their gameplan. The early goal was gift, and helped the main element of the gameplan (steal one, sit back) enormously.

      Jack is close to displacing Xhaka. Anyone who has been watching his progression and Xhaka’s play across our games can see that. Now he’ll definitely get starts.

      Well played Soton. Theo wasn’t even on the bench, and Im going to hazard a wild guess that the south cost is his destination in a few weeks’ time.

      1. There have been 7 games since November 18th and the first team has played in all but 2 of those, so 5 games in 22 days or one game every 4-5 days. The squad needs to be rotated more over a busy period like that. Yes, there is 100% rotation for the meaningless Europa games but virtually 0% rotation except what is enforced by injuries otherwise. It’s not sustainable for the players, not at the level of your average premier league match, especially for a player like Ramsey with a history of frequent overuse injuries.

        1. Our premiership team is playing on the same schedule as Southampton and every other team in the league. It’s not a partial change from Europe either… it’s wholesale.

          That said, Kosc does have an achilles problem to be managed. And Ramsey will never fully recover from a badly broken leg that makes him more susceptible to injury. But I don’t think that he can complain about being overplayed. There some players, however, that Wenger never subs, and he’s one of them.

          I think that Tim nailed it in his pre-game… “they are excellent at stopping opponents playing against them”.

          1. Southampton rotated. Davis and Boufal started the last game
            against Bournemouth and Ward-Prowse only played one half. Liverpool started Coutinho and Firmino on the bench today. Mourinho brought in Herrera, Rashford and Fellaini today. Even Huddersfield turned their roster before facing us. Wenger needs to do more of this, especially with players he knows are prone to injuries or are carrying an injury. It’s not like we don’t have capable depth on the team!

          2. The comfort zone argument is a significantly different one from the rotate-to-rest argument. I do agree with it, but it’s apples and oranges. Rotation is a damned-whatever-you-do thing. Some too-reactionary fans are saying Giroud should have started. No, he shouldn’t. Lacazette is our first choice attacker, and he should start.

            The games are increasing in number, and some rotation will be necessary over the holiday period. But it’s hard to make the case that the first team has been getting insufficient rest-rotation over the past few weeks. Sometimes a bad play is just a bad play.

          3. Let’s say Wenger rests Koscielny for this game (that’s two back three changes, one enforced). Holding then makes a mistake. I promise you we’ll be asking why Wenger is resting his best defender.

          4. Agree with Claude about tiredness not being a significant factor here (or at least that it shouldn’t be), though clearly players can begin to get fatigued this time of year, regardless of whether they played in midweek or not. But I’d have thought it would make more sense to rotate in a few weeks than it did today. We played well overall against United, and that was 7 days ago. None of the starting lineup played at all between then and today. We shouldn’t have looked so off the pace. And it doesn’t explain Ramsey’s injury. Europa League means he hasn’t been played into the ground.

          5. You could say Ramsey’s a unique case because of his injury record, but if you look at Chelsea’s team from last year (and Leicester’s from the year before), you can see that it’s not necessarily too much football for the vast majority of your team to play week in, week out, and indeed a settled side can lead to more consistent results.

      2. I don’t think Jack is close to displacing Xhaka, and I don’t think he should be. Whatever you think of the Swiss (personally, I think (a) he’s no a natural DM, (b) he’s left exposed in this formation, and yet (c) he’s been somewhere between underwhelming and rotten all season), it would be a big stretch to suggest Wilshere is a like-for-like, or a better fit as defensive/holding midfielder, especially in what has effectively become a 3-1-2-3-1 (with the ‘2’ being the wingbacks, and Ramsey playing just off Lacazette, at least as far forward as the inside forwards).

        Indeed, it’s precisely because Jack isn’t a good fit to replace Xhaka (without anything else changing in the lineup/formation), that it’s unfair to assess his performance today: he should have come on earlier today to partner Xhaka, in order to give us more control in midfield and to free up Ramsey.

        It’s crazy to me that, given we were a goal down away from home against a good defensive team, and after seeing how well we played when Iwobi came on last week, how poorly we played today in the first half today, and how poorly Per in particular played, that Wenger didn’t think it was a good idea to swap out Per for another creative/attacking player at halftime.

  2. 1-1 it is
    your prediction is perfect bro tim
    the model is invaluable only that one doesn’t know what the hell the coaching crew are doing to change tactics when it matter most

    well your perfect prediction gives me a momentary relief

  3. Shocking performance. Shocking management decisions by AW. In a game crying out for a proactive sub of Wilshere or Iwobi for Per at halftime, he waits until after the 60th minute mark then brings on Danny Welbeck against a Southampton team sitting deep.

  4. I don’t know what goes on with Ozil sometimes. He loses us precious seconds in attack because he insists on switching the ball to his left foot every time he receives it on his right. For a so called world class playmaker this is poor technique and even Jack will at least attempt playing the ball with his right when he has no other option.
    We actually had five goal scoring chances on target to Southampton’s three (according to the Guardian’s match stats).
    Well done Giroud, and well done Tim for your score forecast.
    Mid table form?

  5. This is the Arsenal of the last decade. Fully capable of pulling out an absolutely wretched performance in any possible game. I honestly didn’t think that with a weeks rest and a week to stew about the ManUre result, we could start the game worse than we did last week but they managed it. Meh.

    Question for the board, why wasn’t there a penalty for us at around the 40′ mark when Lacazette got absolutely leveled by Yoshida’s late challenge after skying his shot over the bar?

    1. It’s one of those kinds of situations that refs have decided to NEVER call, in spite of everyone knowing that, according to the letter of the law, it’s a foul. Remember how last year the head English ref basically admitted there was an unwritten (but semi-official) code of how to officiate in England, based on what the fans “wanted to see”? I think this is one of those things: “we won’t call a foul when a defender has slid in wildly on a player shaping to shoot, provided the shooter gets his shot away.”

  6. We were lucky to get a point of out this game today. Tim, what was Southampton’s XG in today’s game?

    We started with a hangover from the Utd. game and kept on making defensive errors throughout – the BFG being the most obvious culprit, but Bellerin was poor as well. Somehow we managed to go to HT only one goal down. We were pretty toothless upfront too for the most part despite having a lot of possession. We passed the ball around their 18 yard box a lot without really much incisive passing. Sanchez was wasteful, as he has been as of late – too predictable with his runs and running into walls. Ramsey was the sole bright spot in an otherwise uninspiring performance. Xhaka was, what he has been this whole season. At this point, I don’t think Wilshere will do any worse defensively in that role. He was rightly taken off and Wenger, despite being responsible for that kind of performance reacted well and made some quick changes to shuffle things. Another frustrating away game but I’m happy for Giroud. That was a great header.

    1. Can’t agree that Wenger “reacted well” when it was obvious at halftime we needed a rejig, and when he did make the changes, he made too many too close together, and put too many forwards on, thus contributing to our disjointed last 25 minutes, after starting the second half a bit better and on the front foot.

      This an oft-overlooked reason for preferring earlier subs: it’s not just because the subs will have more time to change the game, but because subs often have a disrupting effect on a team’s performance such that half time, which is a natural break in the momentum of the game, is the best time to avoid this (and even if disruption does happen, the team has plenty of time to adjust to the new players before the inevitably-frantic last 10 minutes).

  7. Hearing a lot of noise for Wilshere coming into the team. If he does, it should be for Ramsey or Sanchez, not for Xhaka. They are completely different players and that swap would change the hard won midfield balance. Remember the midfield revolving door last year? I don’t want that. Xhaka is not amazing but he has brought stability to the team for the first time since Cazorla got injured, and I believe the team functions better with him playing. Wilshere can fill in for Ramsey while the latter is injured but I have no faith in him as the team’s pivot.

    1. Good point. ..Jack’s and Ramsey’s games are too similar. However, he is not going to displace Alexis, or Ramsey on form. Ramsey is the better, and at ATM (and more importantly), the more effective player. Jack’s clearly closer to the first team than he was at the start of the season, so the next question to ask is who’s under threat? The midfield/forward player, on form, most likely to make way in the First XI is Xhaka.

      It does not necessarily mean that a straight swap is the tactically sensible, but it gives us something to think about. Jack’s a No. 10. He, Ozil and Iwobi are realistically fighting over the same place. But he can play in the deep midfield too. Something to think about.

      Elneny is not even getting on the bench, and I think that, in a world cup year, he’ll go out on loan in January. A new order is being established, and AMN’s stock has also risen.

      1. Jack played a deeper midfield role for England but that was for a very different kind of football team and he was surrounded by grafters and runners. In essence he was still the playmaker, just from a deeper position. He needs to be up close and personal with the action, and he needs to see the ball a lot, and he needs players around him to feed him the ball and retrieve it for him. In NBA terms he has a high “usage” rate, meaning he needs a lot of the ball to be effective. That’s a problem at Arsenal where we have 4-5 players like him who are more effective with the ball, but it does make him perfect as the creative hub of a second team. He needs to be more like Man City’s de Bruyne and Silva, both of whom have twice his ability and work twice as hard without the ball. They are the model of a modern #10.

    2. No, it should be for one of our 3 central defenders, or, more accurately, for Kolasinac (who’s been pretty poor of late), with Monreal starting at LB.

      1. And Jack and Ramsey’s games are only similar in the sense that they’re both best described as “box-to-box” players. But one likes making runs away from the ball, and one likes making runs to the ball. One likes being most involved in and around the penalty area, and the other wants to be involved in the buildup. Etc.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
        Jack, Xhaka, Ramsey is a pretty nicely balanced midfield, provided the two Brits show some discipline (which they both CAN do) and take turns attacking. People will worry about us defensively but we’re already a joke defensively, and we might just be surprised at the solidity a 3 man midfield brings us (and no, a 4-2-3-1 formation, the way we’ve typically played it the last several years, is NOT the same as having a proper 3 man midfield).

        1. Ramsey likes the ball to feet as well. The difference is, he is much better at off the ball runs than Jack. In turn, Jack is a better dribbler and has a quicker first step, but Ramsey’s overall technique, engine, ball security and work ethic trump Jack’s gifts for me.

          1. Ball security and technique? No way. Engine and work ethic, absolutely. And I didn’t deny that Ramsey likes it to his feet, it’s just that he doesn’t seem to like to make runs *to* the ball, nearly as much as his instinct, say when we quickly win it back in a semi-dangerous position, is to make a run away from the ball, into a position where he can quickly hurt the opposition, but a position in which finding him will require a high-difficulty, low-percentage ball from his teammates (obviously there are exceptions that prove the rule). Jack, on the other hand, is your quintessential “playmaker” (e.g. Xavi and Fabregas spring to mind, though he’s more of a dribbler than those guys) who typically comes to the ball to “get on the ball” early and often, seemingly because (a) he trusts in his ability to make something happen, and (b) wants to relieve pressure from his less skillful teammates (I agree with your assessment of his style in your previous post, except not the bit where you say he has only half the ability of Silva and De Bruyne, which is harsh).

          2. In any event, again, I don’t see why we need to choose between them, since the best option is to start them both in a midfield three with a holding player (still Xhaka for me, at the present moment, unless AMN can show he’s ready now). The only reasons I can see why we wouldn’t start both of them are (1) we’re completely wedded to the 3-4-3, which I think is not a very defensible position at the present time, or (2) because we’re convinced there’s some other central midfielder that’s already in the squad that would do a better job than one or the other of them as the left and right sided CM’s in a midfield three. But given the options are Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, or one of the kids, again, I think the case for picking any of them ahead of Jack and Rambo is weak (though I’d have Iwobi as first off the bench in most games).

        2. Definitely not on the same page with you on this. Remember the first several games of 2014? I think that was the year Wenger tried the Ramsey/Jack midfield duo and it was a disaster. I don’t think sticking a static passer like Xhaka behind that would improve it much. Maybe for a more tactically rigid manager that formation might have some life but Wenger has never shown he can use his creative players in a tactically rigid way; we would end up with a cluster at the edge of the D and Xhaka getting overrun behind them. What City has with the de Bruyne/Silva axis pretty special, but so are those two players. With respect to Ramsey and Jack, they are not in the same bracket as those two, nor do they work as hard off the ball (maybe Ramsey does), nor do they use and occupy spaces as well, nor would they have a Fernandinho behind them to mop up the inevitable missed tackles.

          But the biggest reason not to use that system is that neither player is that effective in the final third. What Jack does best is advance the ball between the lines and when he plays unselfishly, he can look like a really good player. He can beat people with his first step and/or find an open team mate with an accurate through-ball. Unfortunately he’s painfully one footed, he has a propensity for switching off on defense, is a poor tackler, can’t win headers and a has a painful penchant for over-elaboration and wastefulness in possession that borders on showboating. The painful reality is that Wilshere, like Walcott, peaked earlier than we wanted to admit and the player he is right now is the player he’s going to be, more or less. And, like Walcott, he needs a system that caters to his strengths to be successful. He’s had that in the Europa team but he won’t have that in the first team and that’s the crucial difference, that’s why that success won’t translate to the first team.

          Ramsey meanwhile has better technique than you may think. He’s only dispossessed 1.3 times per game which is not Silva/Ozil level ball security but it’s pretty good considering how high up the pitch he plays. He’s also an 85% passer which is consistent with other top players. Unfortunately his shot conversion has been atrocious for a few years now.

          1. He doesn’t turn the ball over much because: he doesn’t get many touches, he isn’t trying to create, he doesn’t really dribble, and he looks to get on the end of the ball rather than pass for teammates. He isn’t dispossessed but he does have the second most bad touches per game with 2.1. That’s venturing into CF territory, in fact Lacazette is just 1.9 per game in that category.

            As for his finishing, he just finishes like a midfielder. 3 goals off 40 shots (7.5%) isn’t bad for a midfielder where I expect around 10% finishing. It’s atrocious for a forward. Lacazette is playing perfectly well right now with 8 goals off 36 shots. That’s 22% finishing and not far off what I expect from a forward (20%). He’s a damn good midfielder. He should stay a midfielder. But Wenger wants him up front.

            One thing I will mention, he’s at least stopped taking Lacazette’s spaces.

          2. Actually Tim, you keep saying that Ramsey takes up Lacazette’s spaces, but I don’t think that the evidence of the past 6 weeks supports that at all. What I see when I watch Arsenal games is two players who can find each other in their sleep. Their understanding is marvellous. And I think that that understanding has contributed to an uptick in Ramsey’s form (along with improved passing).

    3. Doc is right that swapping Xhaka for Wilshere will bring more of the same in terms of a lack of coherence and stability in the middle of the park (even if we agree Jack is the better player, and even assuming he plays well when brought in).

  8. Gotta add my voice to the chorus claiming Bellerin was awful today: gave the ball away a ton, ineffective on the few occasions he got in dangerous positions, and it felt like he lost out on pretty much every 50-50 challenge against Redmond or Bertrand.

    A few games aside, he’s been very poor the whole calendar year. We often complain about Wenger’s favorites (Ramsey, Theo, Ozil/Sanchez, Giroud, etc), but Bellerin is one of the first names on the teamsheet, hasn’t had proper competition at RB since Debuchy first got injured, and his only proper competition at RWB (the Ox) was sold in the summer after many complained Wenger was “shoehorning” him into the team (newsflash: at the time it was at least as legitimate to claim Hector was the one being shoehorned in).

    I like Hector, but like Kola on the other side, I don’t think his performances this season have (a) merited him being an automatic starter in every game, or (b) justified sticking with a system with wing backs. Saying we need the back three is one thing; saying we need the attacking width our two wingbacks provide is quite another, and merely serves to raise the question of why, if they’re so crucial to the way we play, they’ve repeatedly ended up being two of the weakest links in our starting 11 this season.

  9. Did anyone else watching on US TV hear Davie Provan complain about the time wasting yellow card given to the Saints player whose time wasting during a throw in was as BLATANT as you’re ever likely to see? He actually blamed Arsene’s “moaning” to the fourth official for the card. I’d say I couldn’t believe my ears, except that it was all too predictable coming from him. He’s just about as bad as Chris Sutton and Tony Gale.

    Seriously, it’s bad enough we have to watch our team play abjectly; it’s insult to injury to have to listen to these mediocre ex-players who are both idiotic and clearly biased against Arsene/Arsenal.

    1. The recent narrative I’ve noticed is that Arsenal are always moaning or reacting preciously to ANY perceived infringement against them, and anything the ref gives them is a result of just that. It’s nonsense and highly infuriating.

    2. Yeah, that was a real gem. Let’s blame Arsene for the referee’s (entirely correct) decision! It was only second best though to the lead commentator mocking Mertesacker for running off the pitch “quicker than he’s run all game.” That one really got to me for some reason.

      1. I was just amused by that comment, since the moment I saw Per sprinting off the pitch I KNEW they were going to make that joke. It was just too obvious, there was no way they were going to resist. Let’s just put it this way: you don’t go into English football commentary if you’re an interesting or original thinker.

        1. Then the ever sagacious Robbie Mustoe opined that Mertesacker “shouldn’t be playing” as if he was some walking liability. Yes, he slipped and that cost the team dearly. He also anchored an FA cup final win against Chelsea a few months ago, so, you know, let’s cool the hot takes.

  10. Really poor performance today. Very disappointed with them. The stupid defensive errors continue even with Per in for Mustafi. Kos is either in need of a rest or is in decline. Bellerin has lost his speed ever since his concussion and wasn’t the most defensively strong to begin with. Kola is good in some aspects but lacks defensive awareness and his passing in the final third is poor. Our defense needs work. Including through the transfer market, despite the youth and improvements shown by Chambers and Holding.

    Xhaka has been playing ‘poorly’. I say that with air quotes because he’s not as bad as is made out, but he’s definitely performing below his capability.

    Up front, Alexis needs to be dropped. I’d rather play Iwobi. For that matter, I’d go to the 4 at the back. Play an extra midfielder with Jack coming in, or even a forward in Giroud and go 442. We’ve become too predictable, and the defensive errors aren’t helping.

    1. For some reason Wenger’s teams have had issues maintaining intensity from one game to the next as long as I’ve been watching this team. Too many days they just turn up without a high level of focus, as if they are expecting to win without having to be at their best, get hit early and then spend the rest of the game trying to recover. It would be nice to see us come out against a Southampton so strong out of the blocks that they don’t know what hit them. Too often it’s the opposite: passive or sterile first halves that lead to increasingly nervous second halves. You can’t win titles with too many games like that.

      Wenger’s comments about how the players had the United game on their minds ring hollow to me. If the game was really on their minds, where was the intensity? I said above that I would’ve liked to see more rotation in the squad during this busy period to encourage competition and give certain players more recovery time but I agree that fatigue wasn’t the biggest reason the team was caught cold, again, today.

  11. Team selection was wrong from the start . I saw players warming up at around 20 mins mark and I thought good at least we are going to change things but it wasn’t done until so late in the game and none of the changes addressed our wrong tachtical approach.
    It’s unbelievable that Wenger goes to every pitch with the same game plan that worked once before
    This was a game you only had one way to win: press high up the pitch with high numbers just when you lost the ball, because the opponent sits too deep
    You could use Iwobi and wellbeck from the start

  12. “It’s unbelievable that Wenger goes to every pitch with the same game plan that worked once before”

    The same game plan for every game isn’t necessarily bad.
    It depends on how good a team is at what they usually try to do.

    Leicester won the title playing the same style and using mostly the same game plan throughout the whole season.

    City will do likewise this season.

    The problem with Arsenal is that we aren’t great at any single aspect of the game.
    We aren’t good at high press nor can we play from the back when pressed.
    We are above average in transition and on a counter but suffer when forced to defend both ourselves.
    We don’t lock it down on defense nor score a ton at the other end.

    Arsenal are an above average team good enough for the top four battle and an occasional cup run.
    That’s it.

  13. Yeah can’t pretend I’m not disappointed. I thought we would beat United and Southampton, in which case we would be sitting clear in second place this morning on 34 points. Instead it’s United in second and we’re in 5th. Blech.

  14. “6 – Atrocious passes if we count the one to the right of the center circle which led to a S’ton (Southampton) fast break”

    Just a note here. I went to school in Southampton. The locals abbreviate it to Soton, not S’ton. Better to go with that.

    Thanks!

  15. 538’s pure Elo system works over large samples, but has no adjustments for home field advantage and other stat splits. A more detailed model is definitely better. There is no home field advantage or as much variance in general in chess.

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